Tag Archives: Lapis Lazuli

Properties and virtues of Lapis Lazuli | Mineralogical properties of lapis lazuli

  • June 21, 2019

Extracted and used for 7000 years, lapis lazuli is one of the most popular rocks, in mineralogy, jewelry and litho therapy.  Its millenary history is fascinating, and its multiple powers and virtues make it a stone of a thousand and one riches. In this new article, let’s go to the discovery of the beautiful “azure stone”…

Lapis Lazuli Pencil Pendants

Mineralogical properties of lapis lazuli

Lapis lazuli is a metamorphic rock of very variable composition that is most often formed in limestone. It consists mainly of lazurite (25 to 40%), which gives it its deep blue color, between azure and ultramarine.

Lapis lazuli is typically dotted with veins of pyrite that have sometimes been confused with gold powder. Other minerals may come into its composition, primarily calcite and sodalite, but also augite, mica or hauynite.

The lazurite present in the stone displays a cubic symmetry. This form of cubic dodecahedron crystals can reach up to 5 cm in diameter, but the pure and geometrically shaped pieces (as in the photo) are very rare.

Although it has the appearance of a hard stone, lapis lazuli has a relatively low hardness of 5.5 to 6. It has a perfect cleavage and a refractive index of 1.5. Variant according to the pyrite powder content, the stone has a density ranging from 2.7 to 2.9.

Lapis lazuli is an opaque; matte- colored stone that derives its value from the intensity and dominance of its blue color. The more it contains veins of white calcite or splinters of pyrite, the less valuable it is.

Lapis Lazuli Star Tetrahedron

The rarest and most beautiful lapis are found in Afghanistan, especially in the province of Badakhshan, where the stone has been mined for thousands of years.  Those of lesser value generally come from Russia, the Lake Baikal region and Siberia. The deposits of Chile, located in Ovalle, extract a paler variety of the stone (note in passing that Lapis lazuli is the “national stone” of the country).

The etymology and the meaning of the word “lapis lazuli”

The name of the stone is composed of the Latin words “lapis” (which means “stone”) and “lazuli” (which means “azure”). The term lazuli comes from the Persian  lâdjaward , itself derived from Sanskrit ” raja farta “, which means “portion of king” (and which indicates the almost sacred value granted to this mineral). The Persian term became lazul in arable, then lazulum in Latin. Literally, lapis lazuli is therefore “the azure stone”.

But the stone has borne various names over the millennia. In antiquity, it was not unusual for it to be confused with another blue stone: sapphire. This was for example the case of Pliny the Elder, Roman author of the first century, but also of Theophrastus in the third century BC. JC and Georgius Agricola in the fifteenth century. The latter described the stone as a sapphire with golden spots, which reminded them of a sky studded with stars.

When it was introduced to Europe from the 5th century AD, it was also referred to as the ultramarinum. This Latin term, which translates as “overseas”, then referred to the distant provenance of the mineral, from beyond the seas. This name was given to the pigment (used in painting) made from lapis lazuli.

Lapis lazuli in history

A multitude of archaeological sites indicate a very ancient use of lapis lazuli, which dates back at least to the Neolithic period (7th millennium BC). It is found in the form of beads, pendants, daggers, ornaments, and amulets. It was obviously the object of a vast commercial network, between Afghanistan, the Valley of the Indus, Mesopotamia and Egypt.

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For ancient civilizations in the Near East and Egypt, lapis lazuli was the true gemstone, more prized than gold itself.  Although it is today relegated to the rank of semi-precious stone, it is not exaggerated to say, like Michèle Casanova , that the place it occupied then is that of diamond in modern societies .

Lapis lazuli is at the peak of its symbolic and physical value during the Bronze Age, in the middle of the 3rd millennium.  The Sumerians call it “the stone of stones” and locate the palace of their “Great Goddess” under a mountain of lapis lazuli. Its ultramarine blue dotted with golden stars evokes the sky and its supernatural powers. There are beautiful lapis lazuli artifacts from this period, including the tombs of Ur’s Royal Cemetery in Iraq, Mari and the Royal Palace of Ebla in Syria. It is the stone of elites, princes and gods.

It is then used to create a multitude of ostentatious objects (statuettes of animals, seals, amulets, etc.) and it is lent powerful virtues. She is reputed to repel the forces of evil and she symbolizes perfection. It is in this context that in the 3rd and 2nd millennium spreads in the Middle East and Egypt, the idea that “to own a parcel of lapis lazuli, it is to possess a parcel of divine. “

Lapis lazuli is therefore the symbol of power, spiritual and political. She is at the same time the “stone of the gods”, in particular of the Egyptian goddess Isis, and the “stone of the Pharaohs”. The latter fashioned it in a thousand ways (amulets, scarabs, ornaments …) and used it among others to make the eyes of their statues and statuettes. The Louvre Museum in Paris exhibits, for example, the statue of Ebih-II, whose pupils were encrusted with lapis lazuli. The funerary mask of Tutankhamun is also encrusted with lapis lazuli, in the eyebrows.

In Greco-Roman antiquity, lapis lazuli does not occupy a truly remarkable place.  The Romans lend it aphrodisiac virtues, and use it as an antidote to snake bites. Besides that, it is ground and used as a cosmetic. It is this use of stone that will develop later in medieval Europe.

From 1400, lapis lazuli is mainly used to make a pigment used in painting: ultramarine blue.  It is this pigment which will be used, for example, to realize the sky of the Sistine Chapel in Rome.

It is extremely expensive but will remain in common use among painters until the nineteenth century, date from which it is replaced by a synthetic pigment.

Still available today, the prices of this natural ultramarine or “ultramarine” can reach 20,000 € per kilo, depending on its quality and provenance.

Use of lapis lazuli in litho therapy

The crystallized lapis lazuli is a very powerful stone, but it is quite rare and therefore relatively expensive. For best results, use lapis lazuli with a strong ultramarine blue color and pyrite chips with lighter ones and white veins.

Virtues of lapis lazuli against physical ailments

At the physical level, lapis lazuli is a stone of balance, calming, regulation and repair.  In the middle Ages, the stone was known for its rejuvenating action on the body, and it was said that it allowed maintaining healthy limbs.

It is a beneficial stone on many levels. It helps in different types of eye disorders by improving the functioning of the eyes and particularly affects the night vision. Its energetic action helps to fight against certain allergies. It is also recommended to lower fever.

It is very effective in treating the kidneys because it regulates the level of water in the body. Its medicinal properties are manifested especially in the bladder, the digestive system, the mouth and the stomach. It calms the vomiting, relieves the painful menstruation and maintains the endocrine glands. But that’s not all…

Skin disorders

Lapis lazuli is especially recommended for insect stings or skin rashes. The calming effect of its cold blue reduces the pain and helps to reduce inflammation. It is also recommended in case of burns. You can use it to massage and relieve the affected part. In general, it strengthens the skin and helps fight against diseases affecting this organ (allergies, eczema, etc.).

Hair and nails

It is from the basic chakra (or root chakra) that the lapis lazuli works on the acceleration of the hair regrowth and that of the nails. It also helps to solve the dandruff problems and allows having beautiful hair. You can use an elixir of lapis lazuli for this purpose.

Throat and respiratory system

When placed or worn at the throat chakra, lapis lazuli is particularly beneficial to this area of ​​the body. It plays a role in strengthening the lungs, fortifies the throat, activates the functioning of the thymus and provides help in diseases of the pharynx.

The stone is known to stop coughing and sneezing. In particular, it reduces the inflammation of the tonsils and the area between the throat and the upper part of the lungs (the bronchi, the pharynx, etc.). It is a recommended stone for asthmatics.


Lapis lazuli strengthens and regulates blood pressure. It is beneficial for people suffering from high blood pressure. However, it is all but an asset for those who have low blood pressure. The latter are advised not to carry the stone, nor to keep it in their rooms during their sleep.

Migraines and headaches

Lapis lazuli is known for its ability to soothe headaches. You can take advantage of its healing action by providing a roller and applying it on the painful areas of the head or cervical. To prevent the recurrence of migraine, sleep with a lapis lazuli stone under your pillow for a few days.

Hearing and tinnitus

Lapis lazuli is reputed to be a stone beneficial to the auditory system. It helps in case of loss of hearing. For people with tinnitus, it is advisable to massage the ear area with a lapis lazuli, in order to reduce the volume and intensity of whistling or ghost noise.

Psychic and psychological virtues of lapis lazuli

On a psychological and spiritual level, lapis lazuli elevates the soul and stabilizes the mind. It is a stone that brings wisdom, self-confidence, intuition and creative expression. It helps introspection, inner discipline and allows being at once more vigorous, more concentrated and more serene.

A symbol of protection, lapis lazuli helps you through difficult moments and situations. He is able to revive the courage of his owner, free him from his anxieties and relieve his stress. Lapis lazuli extinguishes anger, brings peace and serenity, and makes it possible to confront the truth with objectivity and clarity.

Spiritual elevation and creative expression

The appearance of the lapis physically reveals its celestial power. It allows us, indeed, to merge in the starry vault to better understand our position in the universe. The stone thus plays a role in improving the sharpness of the mind and stimulating the creative expression. Being an excellent diagnosis of deficiency, she also helps in the correction of weaknesses psychic and psychological.

Courage and self-confidence

Lapis stone is best suited to shy, introverted and withdrawn people, as it enhances self-confidence through self- acceptance. Being a symbol of a strong personality and hope, it gives courage to people wishing to move forward and exceed their limits. It also shapes humor and spread, and presents itself as the ideal stone in all areas of communication.

Memory of dreams and lucid dreams

Lapis lazuli, as a stone promoting inner vision, also facilitates the memory of dreams, their interpretation, and the advent of lucid dreams.

Depression and anxiety

Lapis lazuli helps to harmonize the different physical, psychological, and spiritual planes and prevents imbalances that are likely to cause malaise and the appearance of depressive states. It helps to overcome depression and get rid of anxiety and old fears.

Opening of the 3rd eye

It is sometimes recommended to wear lapis lazuli as a ferroniere in the middle of the forehead because it opens the third eye and stimulates the inner vision, the intuition and the higher faculties of the mind. Lapis is known for its ability to activate clairvoyance and promote radiesthesia research. This is a stone capable of connecting the higher self with the divine guide and facilitating meditation.

lapis lazuli stone

The Stone lapis lazuli and its Properties

  • September 22, 2018

Meaning of Lapis Lazuli Healing Stone

The stone lapis lazuli is not too expensive, but infinitely precious. Paradox? The ancients did not think so. The secret knowledge was: lazurite opens its properties to everyone, but will prefer the chosen one. Only those who are not afraid to approach the mountain peaks and touch the hand of heaven will receive the highest reward. The stone of the color of the sky, extracted in the unthinkable height, will make the life of its owner flight over vanity…

Millennia passed until science surpassed superstition, and the nature of the gem was revealed to humanity in its entirety. We are aware of the chemical composition and physical properties of the mineral. Its deposits are discovered in different parts of the world. The extraction, processing and use of cornflower stone are being conducted. And yet, lapis lazuli – in every piece of it, in every bead and jewelry insert – still keeps the secret of its charm!

Heavenly blue, cured by the forces of nature, attracts, captivates and excites the imagination as if it were old. Among the dominance of the artificial sparkling of man-made crystals, the “soft” glow of the azure stone attracts attention with an artless beauty and an amazing resemblance to the depths of the sky.

Lapis lazuli then glows in the August afternoon, then it turns blue with anticipatory thunderstorm twilight, and then it is silvered by a cloudy haze over the blue of the sea. They say there are even more beautiful gems in the world. But this is the voice of envy…

Physicochemical properties of lapis lazuli

Lapis lazuli – a mineral well studied. It is distinguished by:

– color azure blue, dark blue;

– shine glass, fat;

– Opaque, can shine through;

– The line is light blue;

– Mohs hardness 5.5; fragile;

– Density of 2.38-2.42 g / cm3;

– Fractured shell;

– Cubic systemic;

– In the form of a crystal it is rare;

– Crystals of a simple cubic structure. Chlorine ions are located in the corners and center of the cube in the tetrahedral environment of sodium ions;

– The symmetry class is hex tetrahedral;

Cleavage is imperfect;

– Aggregates are dense, amorphous;

– decomposes in HCl with the liberation of hydrogen sulphide;

– Accompanying minerals – calcite, pyrite;

– Similar minerals: sodalite, nosean, gayuin.

The chemical composition of lazurite includes: sodium oxide Na2O – 16.8%, calcium oxide CaO – 8.7%, alumina Al2O3 – 27.2%, silica SiO2 – 31.8%, sulfur oxide SO3 – 34%, chlorine Cl is 0.25%.

Lapis lazuli in the history of mankind

At least seven thousand years ago, the extraction of blue stone in the mining mines of the Pamirs began. Decorating the palaces of the eastern rulers, the lapis lazuli was invariably the subject of attention of ambassadors and merchants. Western European artists have learned to triturate the mineral into powder, mix the powder with the boiled oil and thus produce ultramarine – “over the sea” – paint.

Lazurite was in love with the Pharaohs. The best of the surviving works of ancient Egyptian art bluish with a primordial density of color. It was in ancient Egypt that a tradition arose for the creation of gold jewelry with lapis lazuli insets.

The conquest of the East enabled the nobles of Europe to freely dispose of the precious gem. Rich houses were necessarily decorated with vases and fireplaces, statues and balustrades made of lapis lazuli.

True, lapis lazuli – lapis lazuli dense homogeneous color, blue or purple – was valued highly and was used only for making jewelry.

The discovery of the blue mineral in the Russian borders helped the Russian emperors decorate the grandiose buildings of the capital with beautiful azure finish. Columns of St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the halls of the Peterhof Palace complex, the Winter Palace of Imperial Russia shine with the ever-fresh blue of Russian lapis lazuli.

Worldwide deposits of precious stone

Lapis lazuli is considered an ornamental stone. At the same time, the best samples of the mineral have undoubted jewelry values. But even in this case the price of lapis lazuli does not exceed two dollars per gram!

Price availability of the most beautiful natural material is determined by the volume of extraction of blue stone. Chilean Andes – along with the Afghan Pamirs – give the lion’s share of the proceeds of lazurite raw materials to the world market.

North America, Argentina, India and Russia produce high-quality lapis lazuli from less significant deposits.

Artificial gem or how to counterfeit lapis lazuli

Counterfeits of natural lapis lazuli are numerous. There is nothing surprising in that the most expensive varieties of gem are imitated. Painting jasper and sodalite in purple, scammers give out the finished product for lapis lazuli.

Extruded synthetic spinel is often issued for a crystal of lapis lazuli. There are several ways to check it. Wetting the natural gem leads to a continuous moistening of the surface. On artificial stone water is collected in droplets.

Lazurite of natural origin is refractory. In the old days, a stone designed for cabochon cutting was poured on fire for up to ten days to reveal defects in its structure. No imitation of such a test will survive…

Decoration from lapis lazuli

A wonderful piece of interior decoration can serve as a fragment of wild lapis lazuli. Some of the deposits are rich in deposits of blue gem with sparks of “golden” pyrite in the thickness of the stone massif. Even untreated fragments of valuable rock become the focus of attention!

Jewelry lapis lazuli is often made by material for cutting gems. Refinished cabochon lapis lazuli recover in gold and silver. Pendants, pendants and earrings with lapis lazuli inserts are often combined into headsets.

Serially produced only lapis lazuli beads. They are inexpensive. Jewelry made of lapis lazuli, made on individual projects, can be evaluated higher than products with precious stones of the highest category. In the photo below – lapis lazuli designed for custom jewelry.

Therapeutic properties of lapis lazuli

In modern litho therapy, the therapeutic properties of lapis lazuli are valued as uniquely all-encompassing. The blue stone normalizes vision, lowers arterial pressure, eliminates nervous tension, and brings happy dreams.

Pregnant women are recommended to wear lapis lazuli ornaments in order to get rid of the danger of miscarriage. Lazurite also helps in getting rid of toxicosis, normalizing the menstrual cycle, preventing inflammation of the female organs.

Crushed lazurite in a mixture with dilute acetic acid helps hair growth heals lesions of the gastrointestinal tract. Grated with honey and pomegranate leaves, the mineral treats skin diseases. Accepted in homeopathic doses, lapis lazuli helps to heal bruises and minor injuries.

The magical properties of lapis lazuli

It has long been believed that the main magical properties of lapis lazuli are aimed at establishing communication between people and gods. It is impossible to shame the soul before the creator, and therefore in the European magical tradition the blue stone became a symbol of openness and frankness.

Constant communication with the gem cleanses the soul of base thoughts, directs aspirations to spiritual heights. Only true friends can bestow loved ones with lapis lazuli: they do not accept insincerity!

Wearing lapis lazuli jewelry can give a person the happiness of material prosperity, business success, game luck or mutual love – but only one of four! It is noted that at different stages of life the same talisman can contribute to all four benefits in turn.